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Give a funeral eulogy they will remember
Quick tips for writing memorial speeches
Follow these tips for writing funeral eulogies:
- Write everything
down so you don't ramble, and try to keep the eulogy under 10 minutes
Stay away from potentially embarassing material (i.e. anything involving
sex, drugs or troublesome in-laws)
- Share upbeat
recollections; don't add to the sorrow and weeping
- Don't just
talk about your relationship with the deceased; mention other friends
Give a copy of the eulogy to someone else, who can take over if you break
e-book, "A Eulogy to Remember", Ira Kaufman Chapel, Southfield,
Step-by-step guide to writing a funeral eulogy
Gather information. Jot down as many personal notes about the deceased
as possible. Look at photos. Flipping through photo albums may remind
you of important qualities and memories of the person who died. Answer
a few questions: What made your loved one truly happy? What inspired you
to write this memorial speech? What were your loved one’s passions? What
will you remember most about this person? Keep in mind that a eulogy is
not a biography but more your personal thoughts and remembrances from
your point of view. You may want to ask co-workers, friends and others
for their stories and memories. You should see some repetition in your
notes and this will lead to the main theme.
Begin to organize your content. Outline the eulogy in these steps:
I. A beginning to establish your theme.
II. A middle section to build on your theme with personal stories, information,
quotes, comments, sayings, poems and other content. This information should
make up 90% of the eulogy.
III. A short conclusion to summarize your thoughts and restate your theme.
Work first on the middle section (Part II). Once you have this part the
beginning and summary will be easy. Develop the outline by grouping similar
themes from your notes from Step 1. For example, you might want to gather
all the achievements together. Merge the comments about the deceased’s
philosophy of life.
Organize the conclusion (Part III). A conclusion reminds the listeners
of the theme and imprints the strong feeling you have about the loss.
The key is to conclude effectively and quickly. Here is an example:
“We will all miss Jackie’s sense of humor, her talent for
knowing what is really important in life and her famous chocolate chip
cookies” (a little humor doesn’t hurt as long as it’s
not offensive to anyone).
“Her example lives as an inspiration for all of us to follow.”
Write the beginning of the funeral eulogy (Part 1). Memorial speeches usually start with an
attention getter. It will set the theme and can be in the form of a short
story, a poem, a saying, lyrics to a song. It will introduce the goal
and theme you used when you began the process.
Polish it up. Your best bet is to walk away from it for a few hours or
overnight if possible. Work on it so it sounds like a conversation. You
want to talk to the audience as naturally as possible.
Key tips: Keep it
short, 4-8 minutes long, 3-7 typed pages.
Type it out using 14 pt type so it’s easy to read.
Vary sentence length.
Number the pages.
Practice the eulogy aloud and time yourself.
Read it to friends and family and get their feedback. Edit where necessary.
Keep the content in good taste and keep it positive.
Delivering the funeral eulogy.
While normally speakers do not read word-for-word, because you are more
than likely going to be emotional, don’t be afraid to read word
for word. This way you won’t leave out any key points you or others
If making eye contact with members of the audience will make you emotional,
either try and keep your eyes on the page or look just over the top of
the audience to the back of the room.
Feel free to pause, take a deep breath and drink some water. Everyone
will understand. They are emotionally distraught also.
Speak as naturally as you can just as if you were telling someone about
your loved one. Speak up. It’s very important that you speak clearly
and loudly so that everyone can hear you.
Keep the written speech as a memento. You can add it to your memento chest
and share it with others who may want a copy.
By following these
steps, writing and delivering a funeral eulogy will become less stressful and
more of a healing process. Knowing what to say at a memorial service is a matter of
preparation and planning.
See a free sample
of a eulogy here from a reader who followed these steps, and now shares
the funeral speech he wrote for a co-worker. Sample eulogy
Our top selling items for personalizing a life celebration:
These plantable seed
cards can be personalized with your loved ones name and distributed to
friends and family. They can then plant the card and flowers will
grow in their memory.
Have friends and family
share memories of your loved one on these memory cards. Often these are
distributed at the service, the memories that are shared will provide
comfort to you now and in the years to come.
Samples of eulogies
Read these sample eulogies to find out what to say at a memorial service:
IDEA - Get a newspaper from the day that your loved one was born, copy the front page and distribute it at the service. You can also add their name to the headline. Ideally, weave your eulogy around the events of the day that they were born. Go to www.newspaper-headlines.com or call 877-860-8231.
IDEA - Find out the
day that your loved one was born and use the following as a starter to
Monday's child is...
fair of face, Tuesday's child is...
full of grace, Wednesday's child is...
filled with woe, Thursday's child...
has far to go, Friday's child is...
loving and giving, Saturday's child...
has to work for a living,
But the child that is born
on the Sabbath day is...
bonnie and blythe
and good and gay.
You can find "Day you were born" calculators via google.com.